The Kossover Family Tennis Complex had its grand opening on Oct. 2 and is now the new home to Emporia State’s tennis teams.
“I like the community aspects and how the community loves the tennis team,” said Micaela Mcspadden, freshman psychology major. “The indoor courts were a great addition and allowed the team to have year round practice sessions with longer training periods.”
An ESU alumnus, Greg Kossover, played on the tennis team in the early 1980s here at ESU, according to Leslie Stafford, head tennis coach.
“He’s going to impact Emporia State for decades to come now,” Stafford said.
The tennis season is played throughout early spring which can bring some challenges. The new complex has indoor and outdoor facilities that are able to be utilized.
“I think the great thing is that a lot of our matches are not played in perfect weather and springtime in Kansas can tend to be windy and cold,” Stafford said. “Now when you can come, you can watch inside and you can be out of the weather.”
Each team is able to practice throughout the facility. They have their place to call home on campus.
“It’s very homey, comfortable and lax,” said Emma Biggs, sophomore special education major. “I enjoy having a space that we can all hangout and practice. It feels like we have our own place and it makes us feel more whole.”
The project was brought up about five years ago as there was an extreme need for new playable courts, according to Stafford.
“They were obsolete and basically deteriorating,” Stafford said. “There were patches in the concrete that were starting to come up. They were almost becoming unplayable.”
People are able to come to campus and recognize the tennis teams because of the new complex.
“It is going to scream Emporia State tennis when you walk up here,” Stafford said.
There have been a few challenges along the way for the complex to finally come together. COVID set the construction back for the complex and it is still affecting some of the finishing touches to the facility, according to Stafford. Although challenges have come about, the team is still able to enjoy the facility and new team members are able to begin their tennis career here at ESU.
A variety of donors contributed to the renovations of the complex.
“There (were) a lot of people that this all came about,” Stafford said. “This was a community type effort that came together. It was all private money that came in to do this.”